Cryptocurrency trade platform FTX’s founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faces four new criminal charges, according to filings Thursday in US District Court Southern District of New York.
The new charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, operate an unlicensed money transmitter, defraud the Federal Election Commission, and make unlawful political contributions.
Amid the implosion of FTX, the former CEO already has eight charges against him, including conspiracy to commit money laundering and securities and commodities fraud, of which he has pleaded not guilty in the US District Court in Manhattan.
“The defendant corrupted the operations of the cryptocurrency companies he founded and controlled – including FTX.com and Alameda Research through a pattern of fraudulent schemes that victimized FTX customers, investors, financial institutions, lenders, and the Federal Election Commission,” it said.
The filing alleged that Bankman-Fried stole FTX customer deposits, used billions of dollars in stolen funds to fund speculative venture investments, make charitable contributions, enrich himself, and try to purchase influence over crypto regulation in Washington, D.C. by steering tens of millions of dollars of illegal campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans.
“To avoid certain contributions being publicly reported in his name, Bankman-Fried conspired to and did have certain political contributions made in the names of two other FTX executives. Those contributions were made directly to candidates in the names of those FTX executives, but with FTX and Alameda funds,” it added.
It argued that the defendant and his co-conspirators’ political contributions, which are more than 300 and totaling tens of millions of dollars, were unlawful because they were made “in the name of a straw donor or paid for with corporate funds.”
Bankman-Fried, 30, was released in December on bail of $250 million to remain in confinement at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, have regular mental health evaluation, surrender his passport, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and forbidden from opening any line of credit of more than $1,000.
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